Monday, April 28, 2014

YUM, Root Beer

Hey Everyone!

Hope everyone has had a great week!  I am currently struggling to type on a computer considering the fact that my fingers are freezing! Winter has definitely arrived here in the south of Chile and I am honestly not looking forward to it if it is already this cold.  I am quite envious of those of you who are heading into spring and summer right now because I feel like I haven't had a real summer since I left home, probably because I haven't haha.

We've had another interesting week down here in Rio Bueno.  Elder Walker and I have decided that it has seriously been the strangest cambio either of us have had.  Last week on Monday we went to Osorno to get his second visa started (visas last for a year so each of us will need two in the mission).  We got to hang out in the mall there which was pretty wierd to have a mall down here that is basically the same as the one that I worked in for a year and a half back home.  We also went to a place called Jumbo which is the best supermarket in Chile because it has ROOT BEER, DR PEPPER AND MACARONI AND CHEESE.  I never thought I'd be so excited to taste those again but after over nine months of not having that, it tasted amazing.  Wednesday, Elder Walker had to go north to a city called Valdivia to visit the mission foot doctor so I had to stay in La Union on an exchange with Elder Parsons which was fun.  Saturday, finally, after two weeks, we got our hot water heater fixed.  I must say, that shower was the best I've ever felt in my life.  It's amazing what a nice, hot shower can do to make you feel so much better about everything, my companion and I were on a positivity high all day haha.

As far as investigators go, its been a pretty slow week.  Hernan didn't come to sacrament meeting even though we had talked with them the night before and they said they were all good to go.  We couldn't find JP all week long so we're not sure what has happened to him.  It's been pretty frustrating, but I'm trying to look more positively at everything.  In the end, we can't control the actions of others, part of the plan of salvation is the gift of agency.  I've realized that really, the only thing we can really control in life is ourselves.  The only thing we have control over is how we are going to change to becomse more like Christ.  If we can do that we will be able to respond to any situation in the right way.  I've realized that Preach My Gospel is for just that.  To help us as missionaries to be able to develop the skills and talents that we need to do our job.

Is school really almost over? That's crazy!  I've really almost been gone for an entire school year haha. I got the list of missionaries from Dad, that crazy how many there are all of a sudden, and I know almost all of them haha.

Glad everyone's doing well.  I think its funny that both me and Madi do better when you don't come haha because I always felt better when you and Dad were there, not sure whats up with that.

Ash is swimming? Somebody needs to start biking and then we'll have a nice triathlon team in the family haha.

We did get the water heater fixed which felt fantastic.  We actually have a little electrical water heater to make hot chocolate and stuff which we used to heat water and then pour it on ourselves while it was broken but it wasn't the same haha.

I have some pictures to send but for some reason its not working on this computer.  I think it needs to be google chrome instead of internet explorer to be able to do it.  I'll try again next week!  Haven't gotten the package yet but we have district meeting tomorrow so the zone leaders might bring it then.

Thanks to everyone for your love and support, it means more than you will ever know.  I love you all, have a great week!

Elder Dower

Hey everyone!

Just for Ashlyn's reply to my last email I am not going to start this one by saying "wow, this week has gone by really fast" even though it is true and I really can't believe it's already monday haha.

It's been a really great week for us down here in Rio Bueno Chile. Today we are in Osorno because Elder Walker has had to do some stuff for his second visa so we get to play around here which is much more exciting than Rio Bueno.

The biggest highlight of this week has been that we have a new investigator with a baptismal date named Jean Pierre (never thought I'd be teaching an investigator with that name) he is 20 years old andis the nephew (although I'm not really sure if he's the real nephew because it's a nickname people give to each other here too) of our mission leader which is awesome.  He's really cool and is really open to learning about the gospel. He also plays this really cool ukelele type instrument from Easter Island (easter island is part of Chile) that I want to learn how to play.

We've been working a lot with our branch to get the members more excited to participate in hastening the work of salvation which has been really successful.  Yesterday we had branch counsel and talked about how we can do that.  I believe that in this branch we really have all of the tools to really accelerate the work and I'm really excited to see what happens.

We've had another fun week of no hot water because of Semana Santa (holy week?) which is a huge deal here and almost no one works so we're still trying to get someone to come out to fix our water heater.  It's been a really fun experience that I'm sure will help me to appreciate the modern benefit of hot water haha.

Well that's about it for today. Thanks everyone for your support it really means a lot to me.  I love you all!

Elder Dower

Monday, April 14, 2014

Hey everyone!

Is it really already Monday? Time is flying by faster and faster as I go on in my mission, I can't believe I've already been out for nine months on my mission!  I'm realizing more and more how much I need to take advantage of all the time I have left here.

So this has probably been the craziest week I have had in my mission, mainly because of Saturday.  So my companion (yes, I'm blaming him) forgot to set our alarm on Friday night so, we ended up sleeping in until 8:00 Saturday morning instead of 7 like we're supposed to (I'm pretty sure that happens to every missionary at least once). As we are rushing to get ready for the day we realize that we are out of gas (we use a gas propane tank to get hot water) to get hot water for our showers.  I try calling the number of the gas company but it doesn't work.  That morning we had service planned with a member of our ward so we just decided we'd go do that and shower after lunch.  We helped Hermano Villanueva "order" a bunch of junk in his yard and then went to lunch at Mamita´s. She gave us the right number and we were able to call the gas company to get a new gas tank.  Unfortunately, the gas heater still didn't work. We call the senior missionary in charge of the houses and he tells us that he'll have to send someone to fix it one of these days.  So we have had to use our electrical heater that we use to make hot chocolate and oatmeal to bathe these past few days.  We then left to work and passed by a member family who was selling completos (hot dogs with avocado, tomato and mayo) for a fundraiser.  We had to buy a couple to support them of course! Then just as we were about to leave their house who should knock on the door but the sister missionaries in the branch who came to visit the family too.  It looked really bad because we were eating on a fast Saturday (here we always fast dinner saturday and breakfast sunday morning) but we are postponing the fast a week because I've had a cold this week, but they didn't know that.  My companion, as district leader was pretty embarrased. We then went to a lesson with Hernan and Carolina.  They have made the decision to separate which is really sad for their family.  Their nine year old daughter was crying when they told us which made me feel really bad.  I hope that Hernan will keep listening to us but we'll have to see what happens.

Then we come to yesterday when we had a normal sacrament meeting.  None of our investigators ended up coming. :( Then our lunch fell (on sundays we eat lunch with members) so we had to whip something up ourselves.  Luckily a member had given me some salmon this week.  So I found my inner Iron Chef and cooked some salmon with noodles (Mom, you should be proud of me ;).  I don't know how all of these things ended up happening in just two days but I was thinking about why it would have happened and I've realized that I learned a lot from these experiences.  Sometimes in life, things are going to happen that we can let get in our way, or just laugh and enjoy the experience.  Being without hot water kind of stinks, but its been really funny to have to adjust and get things to work out anyway. Without lunch being made for us by members, I had to adjust and cook my own, which was actually pretty fun.

Hope everyone has a great Easter Sunday remembering the resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ.  I know that He lives and that because he lives, we will all live again with our families together forever if we do our part. Thanks for all of your support, love you all!

Glad everyone has had a good week.  It's getting a little colder and a little rainier each day but luckily I came prepared and haven't had a problem with it so far.  I miss Dexter. There's a family in our branch that has a maltese that looks a lot like him. I picked him up and he licked all over my face which my companion thought was funny but it made me miss my puppy a lot haha.

#1-  How do Chileans celebrate Easter?
 Here all week is the "holy week" for the catholic church where I guess they don't eat meat all week to remember Christ's death or something, I don't really understand it, but they have the easter bunny too just like us.
#2- What is your apartment like?
Its really nice, one of the nicest in the mission.
#3- Are you going to send pictures?  We would love to have a picture of each of your companions and a picture of where you live.  Also, cool sights around the city.
 I'll try to take some this week. Sorry I never really think about it throughout the week, I need to do better haha.

I look forward to the package, how long have the other ones taken? I forget but I'll be looking for it by the end of the month.

Love ya!
.Elder Cameron Dower

Monday, April 7, 2014

No Quaking in Rio Bueno

So just to clear up everyone's worries right away, the earthquake from Santiago didn't reach our mission. We're all fine, there was a tsunami warning and some of the missionaries that have áreas on the coast had to evacuate but nothing ended up happening.  Thanks everyone for your concern, it means a lot.

This has been a really great week. General Conference on the mission is seriously the best.  It's so cool that even down here in Rio Bueno Chile I can be watching the same exact thing as all of my family and friends throughout the world.  The technology that allows this is truly a blessing from God and I'm so grateful for it.  I had a lot of questions answered this conference and I'm really excited to go forward in the Lord's work here in Chile.  These are a few of the themes that stuck out to me.

1. Discipleship and fulfilling our duties.  We have all made covenants and committed that we are going to follow the Lord and obey his commandments and the words of the prophets. We do have responsibilities as members of the church.  A lot of times we have the tendency to just go through life doing the bare mínimum of what is expected of us.  We ALL need to participate in the work of salvation by sharing the góspel and helping others.

2. Love and Gratitude.  I noticed that a lot of talks focused on our love for and how we treat others both strangers and family members.  Elder Scott's talk was one of my favorites specifically as a missionary because I realized that we can't help others if they don't feel our love for them.  A lot of times missionaries can get wrapped up in becoming baptizing machines and people feel like we are only there to baptize them for ourselves, not to help them with sincere love.  As we all go about sharing the góspel, we need to feel Christ's love for others.

As far as the work goes here we continue to find, teach and prepare people to make the commitment to follow our Lord Jesús Christ through baptism.  The biggest highlight from the week was a lesson that we had last night with Hernan.  He said that he is committed to be baptized, they just need to decide as a couple whether to get married or be separated.  My favorite part was when their nine year old daughter perked up and asked what we were talking about, the mom said "whether your dad and I are going to get married or if Dad's going to leave the house," the daughter says "I like the marriage one better" it made us all laugh haha, but he should be baptized by the end of the month.

That reminds me, Elder York got transferred to this zone this transfer and was able to give me an update on Ariel and Leslie.  He said they were making plans and committed to getting married and then baptized when he left so hopefully soon they will do that. Woohoo!

That's it for this week. Thanks everyone for your love and support, I really appreciate it.  Hope you all have a fantastic week.

Love, Elder Dower

Questions this week.
1. Have you heard about the earthquakes?  I looked it up and you are more than 1000 miles away.
yea we Heard but nothing happened here
2. Are people talking about it there?  Maybe opening people's minds and hearts?
I haven't really seen any affects, was it really big? I don't know much about it.
3. How are things going with Elder Walker?  Are you getting along ok?
We're doing really great, He has a year and like 2 months, we get along really well, , he actually went to school with Jessica at mountain view, I forgot to mention that.
4. Are you still talking and serving everyone you come in contact with?
. Yes, it's been harder this week with general conference but yes.
5. How are the people you have been meeting with progressing?
hernan is doing really great, should be baptized this month
6. Did anyone watch conference with you or members?
 yes, Hernan came and Miguel a 15 year old kid we're teaching
7. How is the weather?
its starting to be colder and more rainy, i have to wear sweaters more now

Thats all the questions I have for now.  After conference, there was a special about David Archeleta's mission.  They showed him walking and riding buses in Chile.  All I could think of is that is what Cameron is doing.
That special of David Archuleta sounds about right, we walk and ride buses a lot haha.